Thursday, 31 March 2011

Smoke and Short Stories

Recently I have been reading a number of short stories. Among these were Russian nineteenth and early twentieth century authors like Gogol, Tolstoy, Gorky and Kuprin. These were like being in the pub on an exhilarating Friday night full of joyous, and sometimes mischievous, celebration. The beer flowing freely and wild cheers of excitement among well loved friends. Lots of laughing, a little dancing, as well as a few tears, mostly at onlookers expense. All made for a memorable evening and lasted until a tired and bleary sunrise.

I also read many nineteenth and early twentieth century American authors. Authors like Poe, Twain, Chester, Lampton and Hastings. These were like a lazy Sunday afternoon lounging in the pub with well loved family and friends. Very pleasant if a bit subdued; lets not be too raucous so as not to offend aunt Molly. At times it could be a little dull; forgiveable as there was work to be done the following day.

Then I read the flash fiction in the SmokeLong Internet magazine. This was like being in the pub's bogs pissing on the floating fag ends. The noxious liquid overflowing and spilling onto your boots and the nauseating stench filling your nostrils. A real difficulty was negotiating the putrid pools on the floor; the fresh material was hard to locate or wade through. Somehow it was not in the same league; never was and never could be; it was just a utilitarian function rather then any real pleasure. Still when an authors bladders full the excess piss has got to escape somewhere; that appears to justify SmokeLongs entire existence. But the reader is best advised not to follow on in afterwards; not unless they want to get there feet soaked and reek for days. If you really must take a leek: try the back of the car park.

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